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Conan O’Brien won’t give up ‘Tonight Show’ time slot to make room for Jay Leno

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From the Washington Post:
“For 60 years the ‘Tonight Show’ has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the ‘Tonight Show’ into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting,” O’Brien said in a statement wryly addressed to the “People of Earth.”

  • Jim Corbran

    I’ve always liked Leno as a comedian, but never cared for him on The Tonight Show, preferring (if I’m up that late) to watch David Letterman. I could live the rest of my life happily if I never saw or heard from Conan O’Brien again, as I never thought he even deserved to be on at 12:30, never mind inherit The Tonight Show from Leno. But his point is well-taken, both about The Tonight Show being on after the local news, and, as I’ve also read, that he thinks he deserves more time for the show to find its audience. Yes it was a mistake, but giving Leno that first half-hour would permanently doom The Tonight Show. Just give it back to Jay Leno and let O’Brien leave if he wants to, or let Leno leave. Following a stupid decision with another one rarely works. Or get rid of both of them and offer the show to Sarah Palin!


    I never liked Leno, I like his cars, but I’ve just never thought he was funny. I also don’t like David Letterman. As a matter of fact, he annoys me. I could live the rest of my life happily if I never saw or heard from either of them again. Conan, on the other hand, I remember watching his very first show on September 13, 1993. I was 10. He was also the writer on some of my favorite “Simpsons” episodes. Conan O’Brien has given me countless hours of entertainment. But there aren’t enough zeros to the left of the decimal to get me to watch David Letterman or Jay Leno.

    But all that is irrelevant. What matters is that in 2004 O’Brien AND Leno both signed contracts with NBC saying that in 2009 Conan O’Brien would take over The Tonight Show. If Jay didn’t want to retire, he should have worked out these issues sometime over the last 5 years. But he didn’t, in fact Leno agreed in a legal, binding, document to give up The Tonight Show. It SHOULD be as simple as that.